The ultimate GTD application?
‘Getting Things Done’ (GTD) is a popular system of time management to help organise your tasks. It’s based around a process of working out what the ‘next action’ is in any project coupled to a set of ‘contexts’ that let you know what actions you can do, depending on where you are and what’s available to you. OmniFocus, since it was released in 2008, has been the most thorough implementation of GTD available on the Mac. It also had the steepest learning curve, with a functional interface, and a set of features that, while powerful, took a while to master. It was a piece of software you had to persist with, and if you did, you would you end up reaping the full benefits of its power.
The Omni Group is clearly aiming to change this. 2.0 features a reworked interface to get users into the software quickly, and make the core parts of the GTD process – projects, contexts, and the system of weekly reviews – more transparent.
A revamped sidebar now contains tabs for projects, contexts, items you’ve flagged, and a dedicated review tab for checking over the state of individual projects. It also brings over a feature that originated on the iOS version – the Forecast tab combines items that have been marked as ‘due today’ along with meetings from your calendar, into one view, which highlights the key things you have to do today. Forecast works really well as a way of getting a top-line view of how busy you’re likely to be that day.
Forecast combines well with Focus mode. This allows you to focus on a project, context or folder full of either, blocking out all the others. For example, if you’ve organised projects into folders called ‘Work’ and ‘Home’, you can select the Home folder, hit Focus, and only see items connected with Home.
If the redesign’s the most important element of OmniFocus 2, there are a few new features that
Since it was released, OmniFocus has been the most thorough implementation of GTD on the Mac
add to the app’s capabilities. Quick Open, for example, lets you hit ç+O and start typing the name of any project, context or to-do item to go straight to it.
OmniFocus comes in a regular edition, priced at £30, and a Pro version that can be accessed as an In-App Purchase on the Mac App Store for an additional £30. Pro includes the ability to create your own custom views, ‘Perspectives’, which let you combine context, project and sorting so it’s unique to you. It also adds AppleScript support. However, for most users, the regular edition is more than enough. Both versions support syncing of your data across Mac and iOS devices. Steve Sheldon
OmniFocus includes every aspect required for a full implementation of Getting Things Done on the Mac.
Forecast mode gives you the ability to easily see a day's activities, including meetings.